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Ireland’s National Academic Integrity Network defines academic integrity as "compliance with ethical and professional principles, standards, practices and consistent system of values, that serve as guidance for making decisions and taking actions in education, research and scholarship" (NAIN, Lexicon of Common Terms).
What exactly does this mean for you as a student? At the base level it means doing your own work, taking pride in this, and giving proper credit when you use someone else’s. Taking shortcuts by passing off someone else’s work as your own or committing another form of academic misconduct ultimately hurts you, as you will not properly develop the skills you are expected to learn in your course. It can also damage the reputation of the University and the value of your degree for yourself and other students. Of course, you may accidentally make mistakes along the way; this is all part of the learning process, and the Skills Centre is here to help. Check out our resources or book a spot on one of our academic skills sessions if you want to learn more. Academic integrity is not something to be feared, but something to strive towards.
Everyone has a role to play in academic integrity - it is a shared responsibility. As students you are responsible for actively engaging in your education by taking advantage of opportunities to learn and develop, asking questions if you don't understand something, and completing your own work honestly so as not to create an unfair advantage or disadvantage for other students. You can expect to be provided with clear and transparent guidelines, policies, rubrics, and expectations for assessments that are applied equitably in order to help you do this.
Ultimately, academic integrity encompasses behaving according to a set of ethical values that are also applicable in your personal and professional lives. These values will help you unlock your potential and set you up for success, aligning with UCC’s Graduate Attributes Programme. There are six fundamental values of academic integrity laid out by the International Center for Academic Integrity. Click the icons below to learn more about each value.
Reflecting on your academic goals, as broadly or as specifically as you would like, and creating plans around these can help you develop your academic skills, take ownership of your learning, and maintain your academic integrity. Use this worksheet to help you develop personal academic plans: Academic Integrity Worksheet.
Research integrity and academic integrity share many of the same principles, including conducting your academic work in an honest and responsible manner. However, there are distinctions between the two. While academic integrity applies to everyone in the academic community, research integrity applies specifically to those in the research community and, as such, focuses on best practice for responsible research conduct. For more information on research integrity, UCC’s Code of Research Conduct, research misconduct, and training available for UCC staff and students, see Research Integrity.